Did State Reopenings Increase Consumer Spending?
The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has had a profound impact on economic activity. Beginning in March, most states imposed severe restrictions on households and businesses to slow the spread of the virus. This was followed by a gradual loosening of restrictions (“reopening”) starting in April. As the virus has re-emerged, a number of states have taken steps to reverse the reopening of their economies. For example, Texas and Florida closed bars again in June, and Arizona additionally paused operations of gyms and movie theatres. Taken together, these measures raise the question of ...
Just Released: A Closer Look at Recent Tightening in Consumer Credit
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released results today from its October 2018 SCE Credit Access Survey, which provides information on consumers' experiences with and expectations about credit demand and credit access. The survey is fielded every four months and was previously fielded in June.
The Interplay Between Student Loans and Credit Card Debt: Implications for Default in the Great Recession
We analyze the interactions between two different forms of unsecured credit and their implications for default behavior of young U.S. households. One type of credit mimics credit cards in the United States and the default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7; the other type of credit mimics student loans in the United States and the default option resembles Chapter 13. In the credit card market a financial intermediary offers a menu of interest rates based on individual default risk, which account for borrowing and repayment behavior in both markets. In the student loan ...
Moving into the Mainstream: Who Graduates from Secured Credit Card Programs?
Secured credit cards--credit cards whose limit is fully or partially collateralized by a bank deposit--are considered a gateway product to mainstream credit access. As consumers demonstrate good usage and repayment behavior, they may be offered the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured credit card. This paper uses anonymized account-level data to examine the prevalence of account graduation in the secured credit card market since 2012. Using a fixed effects regression model, we identify a set of usage and repayment behaviors that are correlated with account graduation.
Consumer Payment Preferences and the Impact of Technology and Regulation: Insights from the Visa Payment Panel Study
The Consumer Finance Institute hosted a workshop in August 2018 featuring Michael Marx, senior director at Visa, Inc., to discuss recent data from the Visa Payment Panel, highlighting the evolution of consumer payment preferences since the Great Recession and the passage of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. A number of intriguing trends were discussed. Debit card adoption and growth have shown signs of slowing, even as regulatory changes have increased its prevalence recently among younger consumers. Credit card usage continues to grow and has ...
The 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice
This paper describes key results from the 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the fourth in a series of diary surveys that measure payment behavior through the daily recording of U.S. consumers' spending. The DCPC is the only diary survey of U.S. consumer payments available free to the public. In October 2017, consumers paid mostly with cash (30.3 percent of payments), debit cards (26.2 percent), and credit cards (21.0 percent). These instruments accounted for three-quarters of the number of payments, but only about 40 percent of the total value of payments, because they tend to be ...
The 2012 diary of consumer payment choice
This paper describes the results, content, and methodology of the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the first edition of a survey that measures payment behavior through the daily recording of U.S. consumers? spending by type of payment instrument. A diary makes it possible to collect detailed information on individual payments, including dollar amount, device (if any) used to make the payment (computer, mobile phone, etc.), and payee type (business, person, government). This edition of the DCPC included about 2,500 participants and was conducted in October 2012. During that month, ...
Information, Contract Design, and Unsecured Credit Supply: Evidence from Credit Card Mailings
How do lenders of unsecured credit use screening and contract design to mitigate the risks of information asymmetry and limited commitment in the absence of collateral? To address this question, we take advantage of a unique dataset of over 200,000 credit card mail solicitations to a representative sample of households over the recent credit cycle--a period that includes the implementation of the CARD Act. We find that while lenders use credit scores as a prominent screening device, they also take into account a wide array of other information on borrowers' credit histories and financial and ...
The Geography of Subprime Credit
Improving the financial lives of the people living in neighborhoods with large concentrations of lowcredit-scored households1 requires an understanding of the socioeconomic and financial challenges of those places. In this study, we identify such neighborhoods and analyze their socioeconomic and financial attributes, focusing on Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin (the five states served by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago). We find geographic patterns in the locations of subprime-scored households, in particular that these households are more highly concentrated in urban ...
Credit card utilization and consumption over the life cycle and business cycle
The revolving credit available to consumers changes substantially over the business cycle, life cycle, and for individuals. We show that debt changes at the same time as credit, so credit utilization is remarkably stable. From ages 20?40, for example, credit card limits grow by more than 700 percent, and yet utilization holds steadily at around 50 percent. We estimate a structural model of life-cycle consumption and credit use in which credit cards can be used for payments, precautionary smoothing, and life-cycle smoothing, uniting their monetary and revolving credit functions. Our estimates ...